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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk

Carenotes

Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 01/04/11
I am a faithful reader of your online magazine, and wanted to share some thoughts.  After seeing the congressional hearing on Alzheimer's disease, I am wondering if our living wills should include our wishes about being kept alive with no quality of life left. 
 
During the congressional hearings, they said we still don't know what causes Alzheimer's and we have no medications which will  cure the disease or stop its progression.  They estimated it will soon cost billions to keep people cared for in their homes and facilities;  and by 2040, trillions.
 
For 40 years or so, I have been involved in casework, visiting those with Alzheimer's and even teaching classes at assisted living facilities.  I've been watching a friend go through Alzheimer's for 11 years now and I know she never wanted to be in a facility.  It is heartbreaking.
 
I know there are DNR's, living wills and the like, but they don't seem to address this issue.  Do you know of any grassroots efforts to encourage end of life ideas in these cases?
 
Sincerely,  
M  

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